The Memphis Tigers won college basketball’s 2020-2021 NIT championship. However, the victory was short-lived as many transactions have occurred over the past few days. The program had three players that entered the transfer portal within 30 minutes on the same day.
Those players are DJ Jeffries, Boogie Ellis, and Damon Baugh. Fellow teammate Jordan Nesbitt entered the portal two days later. Like any other news that involves the Memphis Tigers basketball program, social media fan groups overreact as always.
They continue not to recognize that Head Coach Penny Hardaway always has a plan for when these types of issues occur. On Saturday, Hardaway showed that he is always thinking two steps ahead of everyone else. Hampton University guard Davion Warren committed to joining the Tigers for the upcoming season.
“Memphis is a school that likes big guards, and with my size and skillset, I feel like I fit in perfectly,” Warren said. “I think he [Hardaway] can help me get where I want to get to, and I can help him get to where he wants to get to, which is a national championship.” Warren was the Pirates leading scorer by averaging 21.2 points per game during the 2020-2021 season.
He also led the program with minutes played with 34.9 per game. The 6’6 guard was also named was the runner-up for Big South Player of the Year and was named first team All-Big South. Warren’s production on offensive could be what the Tigers need to overcome the scoring gaps that they have known to go through during games. Except for the NIT tournament, Memphis struggled to generate an offense that can sustain them in close matchups.
The Tigers’ inability to score consistently in games is one of the many reasons why they were not in good standing with the NCAA selection committee to qualify for the tournament. Along with Landers Nolley ll, Warren could be a formidable force for the Tigers program next season.
However, despite the many possibilities of having Warren a part of the starting lineup, his spot is not guaranteed. “I’m fully prepared to come in and earn my role and be the best player I can be at Memphis. I feel like I can add a lot to this team on both ends” Warren said. It’s great to know that Hardaway and Warren agree on his playing status for this upcoming season.
Because apparently, that was not the case with the four individuals that entered the transfer portal. Having the presence of Warren on the Tigers roster can elevate the team in a multitude of ways, but he is only one piece of a giant puzzle going into the 2021-2022 season.
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Photo courtesy of Hampton University Athletics.